How can you tell if your eyes are cross firing? Sometimes I miss shots that I think I should have hit. I can usually tell if I missed through personal error but occasionally it feels like the miss was for unexplainable reasons.
Welcome to trap shooting...
That can be a tough call figuring out why you miss. It will help to enlist another shooter to watch over your shoulder to help ID where the shots are going, consistantly.
The new Trakker shells can aid that too, but again, use a coach.
When I help other shooters and I see the barrel repeatedly pointing high and left, that suggests that the left eye is taking over a right handed shooter.
Beyond that, it is probably a matter of experimenting with one eye vs. 2, target spots, etc. Of course test yourself for eye dominance.
Practice dry-firing and following live targets. It can be surprising how im-precise we are when the hammer actually falls.
And we all flinch more than most will admit.
Let my know if any of this helps or if I'm missing the point.
dju has said a lot, and none of it wrong. Phil Kiner is a good person to help with that and he'll probably tell you even he doesn't have all the answers. It's whatever works for you, and that may not be all of the time. Good luck.
An observer can see this by watching the end of the barrel as you make a shot. The crossfire appears like you suddenly pull the gun off target just before you fire - it happens so fast that even you as a shooter won't realize what you did other than you will have a sensation that the target picture just didn't look right. The observer might even detect that the gun wasn't even pointed anywhere near the target when it went off.
If you go to the above link you can do the quick procedure to see if you have a cross dominance eye issue. I always suggest that new trap shooters get their eyes checked by an optometrist, preferably one who is shooting oriented. Ask around. We have three such in Connecticut that I know of and one of which does special "shooting" eye exams (Dr. Richard Colo in Suffield).
Also, with a totally safe gun (double checked), have an experienced shooter or coach look down your barrel (from the muzzle end) as you mount your gun to see how much of your eye pupil is ABOVE the rib. Do a mount and check at least 10 or more times to see if you have any variances. If your eyeball is not totally above the rib then you may have a gun fit issue that is leading to eye cross-over. Phil Kiner in his great video devotes an entire segment to cross over. He noticed that some trap and skeet shooters (himself included) will begin to have cross over issues in the later rounds as eye fatigue sets in.
In my case it came on gradually at about 64-68 years old. Scores deteriorated, then I would go along breaking 12/15 targets just fine and miss 5/8 in a row. I knew something was wrong.
I went to a Phil Kiner Clinic and Phil spotted it in the first round. He put a video camera on slow motion and I was shooting 8ft to the right of targets I thought I was centering. I am left eye dominant.
I have gone to one eyed shooting and while I never was great I am about where I was before the cross dominance set in.
You might be right about lifting the head. Last night I shot a 25 the first round. The second round I shot a 24, missing the straight away on post three. Couldn't understand why I missed it because everything seemed right.
The third round I shot a 23. Again, the misses didn't seem like I should have missed. I'll try to make a concerted effort to glue my cheek to the stock.
Ron- many head lifts are a result of the off eye taking over. When this happens it "screws up" your visual perception, your brain knows it is not seeing properly so you involuntarily lift your head to see better.
Dogbest- are you missing more left angles on P1,P2 or right angles on P4,P5?
Have someone stand behind you looking over your shooting shoulder and watch only your barrel. If you make Z or C moves with your front hand you are probably cross-firing.
The above info regarding a good coach is very good advice. Eye exam 1st-----then hold points, background, time of day and direction your club faces, can all do things like that. Check where YOU actually "see" a tgt not the streak and experiment a little, but change ONLY one thing at a time, so you know whether it helps or hinders.
Sometimes you may have to change a little during the same day just due to light conditions--ie. time of day\year. All this presumes your gun fits reasonably well. Ross Puls